Montevideo Highlights & Tango at the Alchemist's House

  • Port

    Montevideo, Uruguay

  • Activity Level

    Moderate

  • Excursion Type

    Information not currently available.

  • Wheelchair Accessible

    NO

  • Cost

    USD USD

    Price between $51-$100
  • Minimum Age

    Information not currently available.

  • Duration

    Approximately 3½ Hours

  • Meals Included

    No

Relax and enjoy a panoramic drive through Montevideo, watching for the Old Town, Solis Theatre, and Independence Square. The latter is home to a monument dedicated to National hero José Gervasio Artigas and his mausoleum. Facing the square is Government House and, nearby, 18 de Julio Avenue is lined with shops, cafés and office buildings. Take in the magnificent Congress Building -- the pride of Uruguay (no inside visit included). It was built between 1908 and 1925 and features 52 colors of local marble and 12 types of wood.

Visit the Mercado Agricola -- a renovated old market hall that nowadays functions as a farmer’s market -- where you can explore the culinary customs of Uruguay and mingle with the locals.

Keep an eye out for the Battle y Ordoñez Park with its famous soccer stadium and at Plaza Virgilio, you will enjoy an excellent view of the city.

Drive along the coast, past some lovely beaches, to the former home of Humberto Pittamiglio -- a Montevidean engineer and architect. You’ll be offered a glass of champagne, accompanied by live Tango music. Pittamiglio was born in Italy in 1886. He was an eccentric opera fanatic who made a habit of walking around the castle environs at night wearing a black cape. Perhaps not unrelatedly, he was also a man with few friends. He built his castle, which offers visitors a walk through alchemy. There are 54 rooms, 33 doors and many stairs -- some of which lead to nowhere. In theory, these represent Pittamiglio’s constant search for an unattainable goal. The main tower is 147 feet tall, and there are 23 other fortified towers. Construction of the castle began in 1911 and turned into an architectural adventure that eventually ended in 1966, when Pittamiglio died. Even today, the castle is not finished; it is a genuine labyrinth of 14,000 square feet spread over many levels, seemingly without rhyme or reason. Three anterooms precede the main entrance hall -- the first is a square that represents the beginning of the search for the alchemy; then comes the octagon; and finally, at the culmination of journey, the circle is represented by a gigantic fortified tower. Examine the details and symbolism found throughout the castle, as you delve into the mind of the enigmatic Pittamiglio.

Notes:

The visit to Castillo Pittamiglio takes approximately 45 minutes. The castle is not wheelchair accessible. 18 steps need to be negotiated to reach the Tango show venue and additional steps have to be climbed in order to visit the castle.